And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. – 1 John 4:13-19
When I was in college my dad suffered a series of panic attacks. He would hyperventilate, get light headed, and become emotionally distressed. Some very simple physiological coping tool helped: he would lie down and breathe into a paper bag until the episode would pass. But another thing helped him even more, and helped him eventually conquer these attacks. He memorized various Bible passages; especially 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” (He used the King James Version.)
The perfect love of Jesus for sinners casts out fear. Embraced in Jesus’ love we do not fear Jesus’ judgment. Bolstered by his love, we do not fear praying to him (worried that he will find further fault with us if we admit our need to him in prayer). When we embrace Jesus’ love for us we need not fear a what he might bring into our life; it will be good.
The perfect love of Jesus also helps us relate to others in courageous kindness. Motivated by Jesus’ love we are able to switch our focus from our own failures, weaknesses, shortcomings, and deficiencies to the needs of others, and ways in which we can show love to them.
All this is from God. He is the source of love. He is the demonstration of Love. His Spirit points us to God’s love. This power of Jesus’ love is established in Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, and those who believe in him carry that love into their prayers and life. That combination is a powerful antidote to fear, and a beautiful thing to behold.